Thank you, next!

Friday I met a friend for breakfast that I haven’t seen in awhile. We keep in touch on the phone since she lives in Florida, but when we get together, it’s as though we saw each other yesterday. Seeing her was the boost I needed, since she is the eternal optimist.

She listened with compassion as I told her how hard it was to be living between two worlds and how I am so ready to move on. I have an apartment but have not actually moved in there completely, because my boys are still home from college, but that is about to end very soon.

My friend just smiled and said, “You’re so close! This will all be over before you know it and your life is going to be amazing!” My family and other friends have expressed the same joy for me, but I just gave a hmph. “And don’t even think about being lonely! You’re going to meet someone immediately.” She gushed. I just listened, trying to get excited by her excitement, but honestly, I felt numb.

How happy can I possibly be, when I am selling the beautiful home I created every inch of, to go to an apartment? Sure, the move is temporary and only providing my youngest and I with an immediate place to go while I figure out where we want to live, but it’s not logical when I have two other children who want a place to call home again.

My friend told me not to think about that, but to only think about what I have to be happy about. She said, “You get to climb out from under the buss you were thrown under a million times and you can’t be blamed anymore for all the things that go wrong in your husband’s life.” She was right, but the injustice of it all takes a little longer to accept.

I understand privacy and the sanctity of marriage, which is why I don’t feel the need to meet people for drinks who only want to hear a story and then gossip. But in spite of my attempt to remain integral through all of this, by not speaking to anyone who lives where I do, a story is being told none the less. I am sure there is no mention in that story though about how all three of my boys have legally changed their last name. And that disturbing fact should be sufficient enough information for anyone with half a mind, to understand why my marriage has ended.

I know that I learned many lessons over the past 22 years and while I know the song says, “Thank you, next” I don’t think we need to thank anyone for the lessons they taught us.

But what we do need to do, is learn from those lessons so that we never have to repeat them again. Once we do this, we can welcome what is “Next” with open arms, because it will now flow effortlessly to us.

Mix The Vibe

This song literally goes on forever! But I like the beat of it, just like I like mixing the vibe.

When you mix the vibe, you attract different people. This can be good or bad. I choose good. I attracted bad long enough. Bad drags you down, steals your shine and makes it their own, all while leaving you utterly depleted.

Once you mix the vibe in a positive way, you attract people who are doing the same. I’m talking about people who know their worth and need not steal your pearls to try and make themselves out to be something they are not, especially when they are incapable of producing an original thought.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with some really awesome people. They were all independent and relied on no one to fulfill them. They were confident, outgoing, attractive and intelligent. I knew this was a turning point for me and a testament to all of the work I have done on myself. You see, when you raise your vibe, you attract people who have done the same.

You know your current state of vibe by the people that are around you. I cannot stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with people who vibe high. The higher you vibe, the more abundance you attract. Abundance is not just money; it’s a way of life. It’s the relationships you bring in, your quality of life, your health, mental state, etc. Your vibration is everything!

If you have toxic people in your life, no matter how hard you work, you will never reach the state of abundance you are trying to. It is literally impossible. Toxic people have a very toxic energy and their negativity directly effects your vibration, which effects your manifestations.

Here’s how negative energy from negative people works. When you are with a person who does not love themselves, they are highly manipulative and will do and say things to chip away at your self esteem in order to build theirs up. There is actually a term for it and it was made into a movie called “Gaslight.” They are jealous of your accomplishments and will try and undermine you at every cost. You are completely unaware of this of course, because you can’t even imagine someone would do this, especially when they claim to care about you.

But when you start to think about all of the opportunities you have had in front of you and somehow they never worked out, no matter how hard you worked, you have to pause and reflect on what could possibly be the problem. Your inclination might to be to work harder, smarter, take classes, meet more people, etc. But even then after all that, you still can’t manage to get where you imagine yourself to be.

And here’s why. When you are with a person who is toxic, they literally suck the life out of you. You are always trying to convince them that you care, that they matter. You are always placating them, building them up and talking them off the ledge because their erratic behavior and poor decision making threatens your security, stability and safety. They are literally always one step away from imploding and they will take everyone who is in their life, with them. They do this so frequently, you’re literally a therapist who is on-call. So how can you possibly have any energy left for your passions?

When you get to this place of complete and utter awe of how no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to manifest, you suddenly realize that the problem was never you, it was the toxic environment you live in, you start setting boundaries.

You absolutely have to say no to people who take your goodness and give nothing in return. But be prepared! The person you cut off will lash out at you, call you names and trash talk you to anyone who will give them an audience. And while this is hurtful, you need to understand that it is very telling of the person they were all along.

But the good new is…the Universe will reward you. It’s as though it says, “Finally! I thought that b-atch was deaf and blind after all the signs we sent her to remove that toxic blankety blank from her life.” And it’s as if, like magic, the abundance flows.

So if signs are being sent your way, do not ignore them. The more you ignore them, the stronger they get and you don’t want to get that tower moment where you don’t dodge the bullets that are being sent your way.

These signs are trying to guide you on a path that is better for you. So you can either keep ignoring the signs, or let that tower hit. Because if you are a person who is conscious, it’s comin for ya! The Universe will not allow you to remain small.

I am so juked about my future! I have never been more positive, because I am leaving behind all negativity and everything and everyone who ever stole my shine, my pearls, and literally plagiarized my brilliance and tried to pass it off like it was their own.

Keep shining! The brighter you shine, the more you attract shinier people and shinier options. And those bitter, empty, self loathing people who tried to diminish your shine, will become nothing more than a lesson you needed to learn in order to love yourself. It’s a cruel one for sure and if you are a person who has suffered through a relationship with a covert narcissist, just know you will never have to repeat this lesson again.

Keep shining! You may never get back the time you spent with someone like that, but just know your shine, really pisses them off. It’s karmic justice.

Does it Feel like Summer to You?

I love summer! Flip flops (actually I wear those year round), pool time, sun time, relaxation, cool breeze, warm breeze, birds chirping, butterflies flitting to and fro and going to the beach.

Sadly, I haven’t been to the beach yet this summer. We’re almost in August and somehow my favorite place in the world hasn’t even been on my radar. I want it to be, I just haven’t had time or the chutzpah for it.

This has to change! And it will. Every day I wake up, I get closer to this life I know I was meant to live, yet somehow escaped me. Inundated with packing boxes, having my kids sift through their childhoods that have sat on shelves for 18 years and having them literally throw out what they don’t want has been taxing and quite frankly, pathetically sad and unnecessary. This entire process has been utterly ridiculous, idiotic, mind blowing, a total fuckery and yet somehow completely predictable.

My future, like theirs, is going to be quite temporary for awhile. One location to another location will be the name of the game until we all get to our destinations. It’s okay, we will be okay, because we are strong and have one another. In fact, I think we are ready.

We said goodbye to our house already and it has now become nothing more than a physical structure to us. Funny how this happens. It’s not personal, it’s vibrational (I love this quote). Everything has an energy and our home doesn’t have ours anymore. Like the beach, it just sits here waiting for someone to make a splash in it, love it and bask in its glory.

I currently have a really nice apartment that I share with my youngest son. It was a necessary move for the time being, but not a permanent one. There is no art on the walls because I don’t plan on staying there long. Getting another house is the plan, because I will not live without animals, but I have no plans to buy one while my son finishes high school; I’ll wait until I make my final move down south for that. I actually look forward to this bohemian style life that is upon me. I’m going to do a lot of traveling with my boys and cherish each and every moment of peace and tranquility.

In the meantime, I am going to make it my mission to get to the beach and enjoy a little bit of summer. I think I’ve earned it. Hope you are enjoying your summer wherever you are!

Moral of the Story

The moral of a story is the lesson that story teaches about how to behave in the world. I suppose if it’s a sad story, then we might behave that way. But the truth is, we don’t have to. We can choose to take the moral of a not so happy story and make sure the next story we tell, is a really good one.

My middle son played this song for me yesterday. Two days ago he played a song called, Too f#$%n nice by Victoria Justice for me. I think he’s trying to tell me something, don’t you? I love that kid and my two other ones and they are a great source of strength and support for me.

When we go through a major life change, especially a not so easy one, it really is a great opportunity to look at what we have gone through and see the lesson in what happened. We might be asking what was the point even, especially if it was really painful.

I have been on this path of self discovery for awhile now and the only truth I know, is this: it is paramount that we see the lesson, embrace it, learn from it and grow from it, else we are going to repeat it. And I can tell you from personal experience that I never ever want to repeat this particular lesson again.

As I sift through 20 something years of stuff and try to find storage space for it, sell my house, look for a new place to live with my kids and end a marriage through mediation, I am a bit overwhelmed. It’s a lot and while I would appreciate someone’s help as I am going through this, my family does not live close by, so I am doing it on my own.

So to that end I will be taking a break from writing on my blog for a bit. It is something I have made part of my daily routine and well, since my routine has now been replaced by a mire of non-routine, my mind cannot be here right now.

I’ll leave you with this song and this message. As I look around my house and all of the material things I have, I realize that the only things that are of real importance or value are my photos, kids art projects, letters and cards from them and family, my cat and of course my boys.

The rest of my things are just things and can all be replaced. But the memories…I have many from living here. Some good, some really bad. The moral of this story is this: we take our memories with us wherever we go. We get to choose which ones we replay in our minds. If we are choosing painful ones than we aren’t allowing new and joyous ones to come in.

And when you look around your life you realize the things that really matter the most, are the ones you can touch and hold.

May my next story and yours have no moral, just a happily ever after.

xo Gretchen

Chaos is a Ladder

This is a very powerful piece of music and an amazing monologue.

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never to try again. The fall breaks them. And some given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love, the illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Are you ready to go deep with this one? Let’s talk about chaos and the thing that creates it; lies.

Let’s think about a lie. Why do people feel the need to tell them? Some people do it unconsciously like breathing, while others do it to hide who and what they really are or how they really feel.

Who are we without the lies? It’s an interesting question isn’t it? Pretending to be something we’re not is one form of a lie. Saying things that are not true to make yourself feel better is another. Showing one face to the world and looking in the mirror and seeing another is also a lie. Disparaging someone else to make yourself look better is probably the worst.

You can look around your neighborhood, family, close friends, and see that there are people who seem to be going through the motions, pretending everything is okay, but if asked in private to a trusting sort, they might spill the beans about how miserable they really are. They are in fact living a lie on a daily basis and make a hundred excuses as why they do it.

I have friends who do this. They tell me they don’t like their spouse but would lose too much money if they divorced and are fearful of what life will look like without them, so instead of trying to climb the ladder of chaos, they stay in a miserable marriage, living a lie. I have a neighbor up the street who had the police called to the house a few weeks ago (by one of their own children), but when they arrived they acted as though nothing was wrong. I have even lived a lie myself. I’ve been told to shut up, that I’ll have to get a “real” job when my marriage is over, as if being a mother wasn’t one, for the past 22 years. I’ve been laughed at, judged and made fun of and told I have no friends, all by someone who said they loved me. I put on a smiley face to the world and then cried myself to sleep when no one was looking.

It never ceases to amaze me how we will act as if everything is perfect when it is anything but. We convince ourselves that things aren’t that bad and that our partner didn’t mean the horrible things they have said to us or the horrible things they have done, so we can continue to live in a pit of despair. Anything, but take that first step towards the ladder of chaos which is simply the unknown and a way out.

We cling to these lies because often times the truth is too unbearable to accept. And because we are clinging so hard to the illusion of what we wish was going on instead of what really is, instead of climbing the ladder of perceived chaos, we choose to stay in a world of deception and ironically chaos ensues.

To climb the ladder of chaos is the heroic approach of course and not one for the faint of heart. Few of us are brave enough to do it. We would rather stay where we are and live a life of lies and deal with the chaos we have now created because of our refusal to accept the truth, rather than taking steps on the ladder of perceived chaos that will lead us out of it.

The meaning of chaos is complete disorder and confusion and behavior that is unpredictable and random. So you can either choose to continue to live a life like that every day of your life, or climb a ladder that will have its moments, but will eventually get you free of it.

I choose the ladder, because no matter how scary, daunting or chaotic it might seem at first, it is far less scarier than remaining in constant chaos and accepting the unacceptable. And I know that each step I climb brings me closer to the light and further and further away from chaos that was created out of my refusal to see the lie that I was living.

Don’t be afraid to climb the ladder. Eventually you will reach the top, throw the ladder to the side and never look back.

What Is Love?

What is love? Hmm…I guess that might be different for everyone.

Love certainly doesn’t involve someone hurting us, yet many of us seem to suffer with this in our relationships.

We certainly don’t choose to suffer. I mean, who would do that? Or do we? The answer of course, is yes. We do choose to suffer, but not consciously.

When we are afraid to feel those wounds of abandonment, we will attract people who bring those feelings to the surface. And like a pot of water on a stove that simply exists until you ignite it, the water starts to rumble until it is a full on boil.

Our feelings, when trampled over time and time again, ignites something within us. Initially we might do anything to try and avoid them, but at the boiling point, they can’t be ignored anymore

If you are currently in the boil phase as I am, simply remove the pot. Whatever is causing this chemical reaction needs to go. No one should be in a position in any relationship where they feel so completely disregarded, unheard and under valued. This is not love. This is toxic.

Real love involves another party knowing your worth and never ever making you feel unsafe, unstable and insecure. When you do enough work on yourself there is not need for these lessons anymore and anyone who keeps trying to bring you to their level instead of rising to yours, needs to go.

It’s really as simple as that. It may not be a simple process to remove them from your life, but the first step is realizing it’s over. The more you linger there, the more you are now consciously choosing to suffer and that my friends, is called insanity.

Choose to loose anything and anyone who brings you down. It might be scary, believe me I know, but trying to make something work with someone who doesn’t do any, is far scarier.

What is love? It’s knowing that you deserve more than what you have allowed yourself to settle for. The water might be hot now, but it will cool. And the haunted woods you have found yourself lost in will eventually turn into your happily ever after.

Stay positive! If I can keep being burned and rise like the phoenix time and time again, so can you. And I will never, ever let anyone who didn’t know how to love, harden me from loving another again; nor should you.

Blinded by the Lights

Every so often a person comes along in our lives and we feel an ignition in our hearts. An engagement of sorts, where we pause and say, “Hold the phone! What the heck is this I am feeling?” It could be where your eyes meet and its as though no one else is around. Like you get lost in time when they speak to you. Or maybe they touch your arm or hand and you feel a wave of energy pass through your body. Some people call this a Twin Flame connection, but I like to think of it as your souls recognition of another soul it has met before, like in another life time.

Somehow through all of your adventures, all of the places you have lived and all of the people who may have dated or even married, you meet this person and it never seems to be under the right circumstance.

This connection is so rare, you cannot explain to anyone how you feel or what is happening to you because it is not logical. You might have dreams about this person, see their name everywhere to alert you to the connection and yet you cannot logically understand why you are being drawn to them. But your soul knows something you don’t and so you just trust the feelings because ignoring them doesn’t work.

We all search for what we call “the one” and can’t seem to find it, him, her, anywhere. We might date a hundred people, be on every dating website there is, and still they elude us.

Sometimes we get in a committed relationship like marriage with who we think is our souls calling, only to find out that person was a wake up call to our soul alright, but to alert us that we loved ourselves so little, we put someone else’s needs ahead of our own and wound up feeling discarded, abandoned and sometimes even abused. It seems the more of the initial chemistry we have with someone, which we translate to great sex, the more we have unhealed childhood wounds. And once the sex becomes transactional, much like the person we have committed to, the relationship is doomed.

Chemistry and your souls calling are not the same. Chemistry is short lived, like an experiment in a lab. If you mix two wrong ingredients together there could be an explosion, pretty much like a couple that gets to the point where they despise one another and do heinous things they never thought possible.

But when you do meet “the one” you are so blinded by the lights, or your ego which tries to talk you out of it, that you give up on this rare connection because the person you have been praying for, doesn’t fit the mold. They aren’t your type, they have a job you don’t approve of, a family that’s crazy, the list goes on and on. The ego is very savvy and will give you list upon list as to why something won’t ever work.

But love in its purest form, is home with another person. It is safety, stability and never having to question what the other person is doing because they have given you no reason to not trust them. This soul connection stays with you no matter how hard you try to out run it and it begs you to ask yourself one simple question, “What am I so afraid of?”

As the year comes to a close, perhaps you will take a moment and think about all of the people you know. Is there someone you may have taken for granted, cast aside or completely ignored, that maybe needs another look. Have you been so blinded by your ideal image of what your partner looks like or does for a living, that you have discounted someone who could be your forever happy?

This is a great time to do an inventory of the people in our lives. The habits we have been keeping, the people we have been keeping company with and the things that didn’t serve us for the past year. I like to write everything down on a piece of paper and throw it in a fire as I jump over it, symbolizing my letting go of what no longer serves me and what I do not care to bring with me in the new year.

Whatever your traditions are on New Years, make one of them where you will give everyone who wants to give you a chance, a chance in return. You never know! Everyone is worth at least five minutes of your time.

Don’t be the person who says, “I should have, I could have, I would have, blah blah blah!” And for God’s sake, don’t be afraid to be in love.

Vows

grim

Vow: solemnly promise to do a specified thing.

Such a funny thing, vows. So archaic in nature. They were always vowing something on Game of Thrones and look how that ended for most!

Wedding vows-boy oh boy. Let’s talk about those.

I think when you read through these, it will explain the estimated 60% demise of all marriages. They simply aren’t realistic and were clearly written on stone tablets like something out of the Flintstones.

I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, *So formal! Wedded sounds like bedded to me! Do you really have to get married for that to happen? Maybe back in the day, but certainly not now.

to have and to hold, from this day forward, *Sounds so constricting, like shackles or a straight jacket. Why not pull out the handcuffs while you’re at it, cause now that I’ve got you, you’re not going anywhere!

for better, for worse, *Really? Who the hell wants the worse? I mean, come on! For the better, okay. If the worse is coming for me, then I don’t want see it, so let’s just keep dating.

for richer, for poorer, *This one! Am I right? What if you marry some man/boy who doesn’t want to get a real job? What if they sit around all day and do nothing while you do it all? They may have been working when you met them, but now they can’t keep a job! Next!

in sickness and in health, *What kind of sickness are we talking here? Cause if it involves perpetual puking or diapers, I’m out.

to love and to cherish, *What’s with the cherish thing? I don’t want you kissing my feet and I am certainly not going to kiss yours!

till death do us part,  *Oh…this one! Co-existing with someone because they refuse to let you go or more aptly, their money? Sounds like a death sentence already.  I picture that grim reaper guy with the scythe. But we all know that the grim reaper in this case is an attorney with a fancy pen who is probably going to make you wish that you were dead, when it’s all over.

according to God’s holy ordinance;  *I’m sorry! Was there a meeting about the ordinance? Usually they post those things ahead of time, you know, like at the post office or something. How does anyone know what God wants anyway? It is all according to how you were raised and what you believe about him to be true. So on that note, I say God wants people to be happy. Period!

thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you. *I pledged allegiance to the flag in grade school, I do it at sports events, and I even pledge my house. It’s enough already!

These vows we take at the alter really do a number on us and I think they should be re-written! How about these:

Hey, wanna get married? *Sure!

I think we should talk about money. *Me too!

What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours. Keep your account you had before we met and I will do the same. We can open another one together once we move forward. *That seems very fair. I like it! Let’s talk about space. I need mine!

Oh, I got it! We will have two residences. You know, so when we have had enough of one another, we can go there until we miss the other again. *Ooh! Now you’re talking!

What about family? *What about them?

Do you like mine? *About as much as you like mine.

You are so funny! *I try, but in all seriousness, we’ll only visit with people who are fun to be around and don’t judge us. Everybody else can piss off. 

I love that about you! *Thanks! I really mean it. I’ve got your back and if I ever don’t, you have my blessing to leave.

I’m glad you brought that up. I was thinking we should have an exit plan. You know, just in case. *Hmm…I like it. Tell me more.

If after five years we look at each other and say, “What the hell was I thinking? Or… get unraveled by the way the other chews, breathes, brushes their teeth, walks, talks, looks at us, and well, pretty much does anything that starts to work a nerve, then we go our separate ways. *Love it! Let’s get hitched!